The moment you set foot in The Peninsulayou know that you’re about to enter a palace which will remain on your mind for a looong time! The reason is quite simple: it’s a hotel that offers everything you always wanted a hotel to offer but never dared dream about!
The fiesta starts at the entrance where you are welcomed by an authentic bellboy looking like Spirou but wearing a white costume and distributing the most charming and sweet smiles when holding the door for you.
There’s a magnificent artwork at the reception composed of 800 crystal “dancing leaves” that was hand-blown by an artisan at the Lasvit crystal studioin the Czech Republic. It is impossible to remain insensitive to the beauty of this installation; you feel that this masterwork is just the prelude to what is about to follow: a fairy tale.
The premises are not only impressive because of their stunning design and architecture but also because they lived so many different and exciting lives since 1908. The Peninsula went through the Belle Epoque, the Roaring Twenties, the Who is who, the place-to-be and government offices.
During WWI it turned into a hospital, then into the headquarters of the German military high command in France during the Nazi occupation of Paris, playing a pivotal role in the deportation of Jews. The first headquarters of the UNESCO were based here, and it was the location for the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, ending the American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Traces of the place’s history can be spotted throughout the palace and I feel that this is what makes this hotel so different from many hotels I was lucky to discover. You can still imagine how it must have been to enter a hotel at the beginning of the 20th century.
The grand entrance, marble floors, mosaics, gold leafing, impressive paintings, and sculptures shine bright like diamonds but not in an excessive, misplaced and nouveau riche manner. All these elements are set to make you feel comfortable, especially if you’re just enjoying a delicious heartwarming cup of tea in the breathtaking bar, terrace or lobby.
Comfort and discretion are the invisible line and can be found in every corner of every room of every hall. Intimate corners composed of elegant sofas, a table basse, and a graceful bouquet of flowers are set up a bit everywhere to give the opportunity to guests to mingle, chat, laugh at their ease.
You are constantly reminded what the city of lights stands for; delicacy, savoir-faire, tact and of course hospitality in all its glory, which, unfortunately, has been floating away from many hotels and which was, according to me, one of the many charms of the city.
No wonder the hotel was called The Peninsula as when visiting the latter, you’re immediately drawn into a universe that very much reminds the fairy tales of stunning palaces we used to read about when we were young, making this place an absolute must!